I attempted to read another article on the Women’s World Cup yesterday, that someone had tagged as interesting – it started with something like – let’s face it women are not as good at football as men and this could be proven because the women’s team could never beat Roy Hodgson’s men’s team … Now this may have been a most brilliantly written piece and it may have gone on to make some very relevant and positive points about the progress of women’s sport, but quite frankly I’m fed up with people directly comparing men’s and women’s football, so I stopped reading. It’s ridiculous.
No-one ever says that Jess Ennis is a less gifted athlete than say Greg Rutherford, although without doubt given his size and strength he can jump further and probably run faster than her. In fact in athletics women seem to be accepted and lauded alongside the male athletes and that is what we are striving for across the board.
I am also uncomfortable with the comparison between the men’s and women’s games on an achievement level, as an England fan I want all our teams to do well, and the argument that you should support the women because they are doing better than the men, doesn’t sit well with me at all. It shouldn’t be an either or, as sports fans it’s OK to support men’s and women’s; rugby and football and so on.
Another male journalist suggested there had been saturation coverage of the Women’s World Cup – if he really thinks showing some matches on BBC3 and the rest on the red button is saturation how will he react to England’s quarter final game being on BBC1? Yet another one wrote that given all the hype he decided to watch one of the matches and guess what, it was rubbish – so the inference is that all of the matches are rubbish. I’ve watched plenty of dire premier league matches, are they a reflection of the league as a whole – no. That’s the beauty of sport, sometimes it exceeds expectation and sometimes disappoints, and a lot is in the eye of the beholder. A bit like life in general really.
Quite a lot of the internet trolls spouting off about women’s football, actually admit to not liking football at all – no-one is asking them to.
Another repeated argument is: if women can’t be bothered to watch women’s teams then why should men? Good question, but of more relevance is how to get real sports fans watching men’s and women’s games – a topic for another day.
So, what I’m saying is: if you don’t like women’s sport – don’t watch it – simple. If you are a genuine sports fan and haven’t watched women’s sport then give it a go, you may be surprised.